Wednesday, May 26, 2010

the farmgirl gets personal...part #1

So, I gave you all the opportunity to ask questions of me. Anything you were wanting to know...and I have to tell you girls, you have made me laugh out loud so many times this past week while I was reading your comments and emails! Seriously, how do you come up with some of this stuff?? It was so much fun reading through each and every question...and secretly I am glad to know I am not the only one that has weird and totally random thoughts about just who the girl is behind the blog I am reading. So in the interest of keeping it real, here are the honest...and sometimes totally bizarre...and maybe even boring...answers to your questions.

Now remember - I said these are honest answers. So don't judge! 
This post is dedicated to the questions of a "personal" we will call this part one of the "Useless Information about the Urban Farmgirl" post. Still to come are the answers to your questions on my business...and my personal decorating style.

So, lets just dig right in, shall we?

Where on earth have I been lately?
I apologize for my lack of posts, I really didn't think anyone would miss lil' ol thank you for making a girl feel good! Where shall I start?? For the most part, I have been buried under a pile of furniture and had to paint my way out. After my first show of the season I was hit with about a dozen custom orders so have been working way more than I like to when the weather is so nice outside! Other than that, I have been trying to finish the reno of my sunroom so I can give you the down low on the before and after, clean my house, install new landscaping around my house since I tore out the old in haste when we bought this place, finsih the office reno I started months ago, learn the new fancy camera I bought so I can actually take a photo on something other than the standard setting, get 70-80 pieces of furniture painted for my June show that is next weekend, paint new bedroom furniture for myself, make dinner every night...oh and I just returned Sunday night from a week long junking roadtrip across the Midwest.

Whew! I am tired just writing that! I think I may have a plate that is a little too full now that I see it in black and white.

If you could have only one room in which to live, and only one piece of furniture in that room, and only one color with which to paint, only one magazine or book to read, and only one food you could eat . . . what would they be?
Room - my bedroom.
Piece of furniture - bed.
Color to paint with - white, Cloud White to be exact.
One magazine or book to read - ONE?? I need my giant stack of decorating magazines or I would just curl up and die.
One food to eat - Cheeseburger with everything from Portillos (you Chicago girls will know what I mean!)

. Do I make my bed every day? (I can't believe how many of you wanted to know this one!)
I try, and most days I do. As crazy as it sounds, I swear I sleep better when I get into a made bed at night. Just one of my "quirks" I guess. I just seems to make the whole day go smoother when it starts out in an organized fashion...and to me that means fluffed pillows and a down comforter folded at the end of my bed. Go figure.

 What are your 3 favorite smells?
Dryer sheets, sun tan lotion and my husband's cologne. And I have a serious thing for walking past the Abercrombie store at least 3 times while I am at the mall just so I can suck in that heavenly scent they pump out of there. Whatever that smell is, if it was in my home I would never leave. Ever.

Have you ever had an encounter with a celebrity?
I have had a few, actually. But I have one that will nag me for the rest of eternity. Some of you may already know of my Elvis-like love for Kenny Chesney. I totally understand the obsession people had with Elvis. Now let me is the music...I am not one of those crazy women that wishes to be the next Mrs. Kenny Chesney or anything like that...but his music can instantly take me away. To another time, another places and to memories I thought were long forgotten. And I am not talking about his radio hits, those are meant to appeal to the masses and all have a bit of a party vibe. Now, I love those as much as the next Kenny fan, but it is the music that has never hit the airwaves that really gets me. His songs about high school, small towns, freedom in your life, following your life's dream and appreciating where you came from. If you have not heard anything from him other than whats on the radio...please get a cd and listen. I doubt you will be disappointed.

Anywhoo...on to my "encounter". I was working one day at our local YMCA. (for the benefit of the free membership that I somehow never found the time to use.) It was a boring Thursday, hardly anyone was working out that day. I was sitting at the front desk, and a good looking man walked up to me and asked if there were towels available he and his friends could use. I recited the rehearsed and well-used line..."I'm sorry, those are just for members of our "special" locker room. You have to pay to be a member of that locker room, then you can use the towels. Otherwise you need to bring your own". He was polite and said "Oh, ok...thank you"...turned around and said "Kenny, they don't have any towels we can use" and left. That tall drink of water was David Farmer, his tour manager. Those big blue eyes are now burned into my memory. I was speechless. I was numb. I wanted to just fall on the floor and die. I had no idea that the man standing in the middle of a circle of good looking men with beautiful southern accents was Mr. Kenny Chesney himself.

I refused Kenny a towel!? ME??? The girl that listens to him tirelessly every day of her life, and knows what song of his is playing just by hearing the first note?? I would have dried the man's sweat myself!!...all while thanking him for allowing me 2 minutes and 54 seconds of pure bliss while I listen to Boston, Old Blue Chair, No Where to Go No Where to Be, Be As You Are, The Life...I could have gone on and on.

And the kicker? I knew he was in town! I had tickets to see him that night. How could I not put together the tour bus in the parking lot with the southern accents??. Geesh. I am hopelessly a dork.

 What is your favorite travel destination?
Oooh...that is a tough one! I am girl that has a serious case of wander-lust! For me traveling in a need...not just a want. I can't pick just one, so I will give you my top 5 within the United States. 

 I fell in love with Sedona, AZ last year and I can't wait to go back. It is ridiculously beautiful there - the desert is gorgeous. Santa Barbara, CA is at the top of my list, too. I love going "Up North" (that is what we Illinoisans call Wisconsin) with my family. It is such a great time when we rent a cabin on a lake and spend all week swimming at the beach, riding the jet-skis, fishing and hanging out by the fire. I am never more relaxed than I am when I am there. Maybe it is because there is no cell-service and no internet! I love the vibe of Washington DC, it is a perfect escape for a long weekend. And of course, Disneyworld. Call me crazy, but I love that place. Especially at night, and I LOVE going with my sisters because we laugh so stinkin' hard the whole time we are there.

 Did you play a sport in High School?
Yes, I was on the team of every sport my school offered for girls which was Vollyball, Basketball and Track. Volleyball was my first love...I am tall and could really jump back then so loved playing the middle hitter position. Basketball kept me in shape, and in Track I was a jumper...not a runner. I did the High Jump and really loved the Long Jump. I was so tall and skinny back then so I could really fly! Ahhh...I now know the meaning of the phrase "those were the days"!

 Are you a glass half-emplty or half-full girl?
Ooohh, SueAnn...thank you for asking this one! This is one of those questions that really makes you accountable. you know? On a normal day, I am a "glass half-full" girl". I totally believe in making it happen, o matter what the task at hand is. I have to be honest, though there are times that I work soooo much...and I can't say no to anyone or I get a little overwhelmed and I totally become that "glass half-empty" girl. Ugh. It is an ugly trait and I am working on making that one better!

 If a movie were made about your life, who would you want to play "you"?
Sanrda Bullock. I love everything about her. 

What movie charater are you most like?
Most recently, when the movie Blindside was out, I got bombarded with phone calls and text messages saying "Oh my gosh, you are sooooo Leighanne Tuohy (the mom from the movie). I am not sure if that is a flattering comparison, but I guess I see a little resemblance. I am totally a grab life by the boot straps and make it happen kind of girl, but without the cool southern accent.

Do I like to cook?
YES! I love it, actually. It is just the two of us, but I make dinner...from scratch...every night. Nothing out of a box, and everything as fresh and organic as I can. It takes a little planning and prep time, but for me it is so worth it. Crazy, right? We just eat the leftovers for lunch. Tomorrow it is enchiladas if anyone would like to stop by for dinner!

 Do you think you will ever move out of the Midwest?
Hmmm...that is a tough one. I really am a Midwest girl at heart. I love the change of seasons, but I wish the cold ones wouldn't last so long! My husband and I travel quite a bit, so I get my fill of other areas of the country that way. We love to explore the world, but at the end of the trip we are both always so glad to be home. We live in a perfect location for us. We are in a city that is not too large, not too small...we are an hour from a major airport which makes travel easy since we do that often. We do plan on living part of the year in another location after my husband retires. It won't be the same location every year, but we plan on living part of the year in various places around the US.

But I do dream daily of living in a little beach town in California. I have had that dream for as long as I can remember.

What is the happiest thing in the world I could wake up and discover?
Geesh, these questions are tough! I had to decide on this one if I should go humanitarian and say something like "the happiest thing would be world peace" or totally shallow and say "waking up to find that I once again wear size 6 jeans".
 Sorry girls, I gotta keep it real. So I am going for the jeans.

Am I a Martha Stewart fan?
Yes. And no. The empire she has built is amazing! Can you believe she sleeps only 3 hours a night? Yikes! I would be crabby and a tad bit bossy, too I guess! I am always impressed by her attention to detail and how she was the leader in making women know it was ok to love your home and not apologize for wanting to make it something you love and enjoy. And I love, love, love all the crafty ideas she offers on her website. The style of her "wares" is totally me. Simple. Practical. And with just a tiny hint of retro style. However, I find her to be a little "stiff" which is totally opposite of me! She would be appaled at my dry sense of humor and casual approach to everything. I have a feeling we would not be BFF's if we were ever stuck on a deserted island together. Then again, she could probably built a yacht out of twigs and coconut shells and get us off that island all while narrating how she does it with perfect grace and style. Hmmmm...

Do I have a lucky number?
Why yes, I do! It is the number 8. Every major event in my life seems to revolve around the number 8. Weird, I know but my husband and I are always amazed how it works out like that. I think it all started because I am the 8th child in my family. I collect vintage number 8s, so if anyone out there has an old metal one looking for a new home...drop me an email!

Do I wake up to a buzzer or radio?
Neither one. I could not even tell you how to set the alarm on our clock. Since I stopped working in the "real world" 10 years ago, I totally ignore the time and wake up naturally. My friends with kids hate me for this reason. But, let me clarify and say I never sleep in. I feel guilty all day if I oversleep. I have a serious hatred for wasting precious minutes of life sleeping. Wait - didn't I just talk about something like this in a previous Martha Stewart question? Oh man, is that the road I am going down now?

How often to I vacuum?
This one cracks me up! I don't think anyone has ever asked me that! I don't have a stitch of carpet in my house, but I do have a dog and 2 cats, so technically I need to do it every day. But is every 2-3 days. I even have a Roomba. Have you ever tried one? You know the little round vacuum that goes around your house by itself. Totally worth every stinkin' penny. I have tried a lot of vacuums, and I would serioulsly do an infomercial for the Roomba if they called me. It is amazing what that little thing picks up!

Do you have any brothers and sisters?
I do! Lots of them, actually. I have 4 brothers and 3 sisters and I am the youngest. I remember my grade school principal asking me on my last day of 5th grade if I was sure there were not any more kids at home. He had one kid from our family in his grade school every year, for his whole career. He retired that summer. Ironic? I'm not sure.

Well girls, that seems long enough for one day.

Stay tuned...more answers to your questions to come this week!

(photos via my favorite website in the whole me pretty)


  1. I'm a lurker, but I'm so glad to see my blog list was finally updated with a new post from you! I love getting to know silly little tidbits about my favorite bloggers. I can't imagine having 7 siblings, when I didn't even receive my one and only baby brother until I was almost 10! I bet there was never a dull moment.

    I lived in a rural area for a few years and didn't appreciate it until I bought my own house in the suburbs. Now I too dream about buying an older house back in the rural area and living more simply. This is what brings me back to your blog so much, and you post the most inspiring beautiful images!

  2. TADAAAAAAAA I did it!!!! I've tried a dozen times to leave a comment but it just didn't work...o well....I'm in now!!!:)
    I love this.....getting to know the person behind a blog!!! It's great to know those "silly"things:)....we are so easely satisfied!!!;)
    can't wait until part II hits my computer!!:D



    o and the pictures are soooooooooooooooooooooo nice!!!

  3. I enjoyed your answers! I'm number 7 of eight.

  4. really enjoyed this blog post...
    check out my first giveaway if you have a chance

  5. You rock Mary!! Nice to get to know you a little better! :) And, I can see why that is your favorite website, these pictures are beyond words...just so pretty!!!

    Hugs ~

    :) T

  6. What a fun post! I'm looking forward to parts 2 and 3! We all spend so much time peeking into each others lives - as much as we can through our blogs - but it's nice to see the real life of the people we visit everyday. It keeps everything real and you never know when or where you're going to find inspiration.
    I'm impressed with all your hardwork and the fact that you are doing so many things that you love and enjoy ~
    Have a wonderful day!

  7. Gorgeous photos!! You have been one busy lady! I am hosting Centerpiece Wednesdays and would love it if you linked up with us. Come on by.

  8. OMG!!! If I could choose one meal for the rest of my life it would totally be a Portillo's Breaded Chicken Club, and the burger a close second!! Very much a Chicago thing!!! I <3 PORTILLOS! (i'm so glad you do too!)

  9. I love getting to know a little more about you :) Wow, you have been busy busy, how do you do it? I love the roomba too, one of the best things ever made! Wishing you a wonderful day and a little bit of relaxation :)

  10. This has been fun getting to know you! Loved all the questions and your Kenny experience, gotta love it! Take some time for yourself now!

  11. Hello - I happened across your blog and all those posies in jamjars just got right to my me! Lovely. I'll catch up with the rest of the posts now :-) Louise x

  12. Nice post! I had about 10 minutes left of work & this filled it perfectly :) PS - don't tell the boss!!

  13. WOW !! I don't think I ever knew that much about someone before!

  14. Love this post! It is nice to get to "know" the girl behind the blog.

  15. Hi Mary!

    Just wonderful to learn more about you!

    And that Kenny Chesney thing is SO like something I would do. You aren't a dork, you're wonderfully quirky and honest!


  16. sheesh. I was begining to wonder what happened to you :)

  17. How fun! Looking forward to seeing what other creative questions people came up with!

  18. Super fun post! And I will be there around 6 tomorrow night for enchis.

    *Tall Girls Unite!!*


  19. So nice, getting to know you better. I really don't know how you do it all, but I must say I'm glad you do!


  20. A great interview to your self, so nice to know more about you. And the images are stunning!!! I really love to pass here xoxo

  21. Love your photos and the answers to our questions cracked me up. Especially the size 6 jeans!!! I can relate for sure!
    Thanks hun

  22. Wow! Nice topics, I am looking this type of topics. But I need more informations. I know a New Drafting CAD Site gives away over 100 House plans for free.

  23. Wow! Nice topics, I am looking this type of topics. But I need more informations. I know a New Drafting CAD Site gives away over 100 House plans for free.

  24. How fun reading these aswered questions! Loved to know more about you!


  25. *B.R.I.L.L.I.A.N.T*.....loved that q & a time!! i just did a small one at mine and really put alot of thought into wonder we haven't seem you around for a've been *thinking* big time!
    i love that you are a bit cheeky & soo grounded with your sense of humour...& thats prob a combo of being the 8th kiddo at home and coming from the midwest- sounds a little like being australian...
    waiting for round 2....and would still love to buy that gorg necklace from you busy beaver!
    melissa x

  26. well that was fun! loved your answers...and that you are quirky and funny and honest, three things I dig in a friend! :) Glad you are back!!

  27. Hola Mary, so nice finding you and knowing something about you already... loved the jeans answer, I agree totally, that is very honest of you!!! What a beautiful blog you have, fell in love for ever!!!!
    Greetings from Chile,
    Maria Cecilia

  28. You sound like a wonderful person, very sweet but down to earth, and I mean that in the most genuine way. I always feel so positive and inspired after reading your blog and looking at your pictures. It sounds so silly but I feel like I've just had a good conversation with a friend : )

  29. Hi,
    I so know what you mean about Kenny Chesney's music taking you away! I am a huge fan of his music as well, and I was lucky enough to see him in concert a few years ago. I love that song,"On the coast of somewhere beautiful", it takes me away to a tropical island. I'm glad to find another fan to chat with.
    Have a great weekend.

  30. Hi Mary,
    I went to a charity thing tonight and guess who I got to see??...LeeAnn Touey, her daughter Collins and Michael Oher. I know I misspelled all their names, but oh well. It was amazing. She is really a firecracker. There were questions that people in the audience wrote down to ask her. One question was "has this movie being made changed your life?". She totally made fun of the person asking it and said, "duh I had Sandra Bullock play me in a movie, she won an Oscar for it, her crazy husband went off the deep end and she adopted a black baby. Of course this movie has changed my life." She was so funny. Sandra totally nailed her tough as nails demeanor:)

  31. I loved reading your answers...makes me like ya even more ;o)

  32. I'm from a family of 8 with 4 girls and 4 boys as well, gotta love being from a big family! But I'm number 5, was just home for a HS reunion and someone asked me if I was the baby, since she's 7 years younger than my 50, of course I said "Yes I am!"